TEHRAN, IRAN: Here's a riddle that this writer feels should be making the rounds soon:
"How many Ayatollahs does it take to rig an election?"
Answer: "Not many."
And that seems to be what is plaguing Iran at this moment. Amid all the street protests against Ayatollah Khamenei's declaration of I'm-Mad-in-a-jad's incredulous 62.6% win comes word of another battle going on behind the scenes.
Dubbed the Battle of the Ayatollahs it pits members of the ruling clerical elite against one another. Is this why the Supreme Leader has now launched an investigation into the opponent camps' claims of electoral fraud?
Word is leaking out that all is not copacetic with the ruling Ayatollahs - the real power behind the smirking President. Whether it is Ayatollah Howmany; Ayatollah Thismany; Ayatollah Somany or Ayatollah Notmany the fact remains that at this moment there is perhaps just one Ayatollah Toomany who has upset the apple cart of pretension that has ruled Iran for 30 years.
A pro-reform supporter said it best: We overthrew the Shah because we wanted a democracy. Instead the Ayatollahs have repressed us even more. Looks like we replaced one despot with another group of despots. We want freedom. They have been too complacent for too long. Now we have them running scared.
There was - as is usual lately - no comment from the US. although Joe Biden was willing to put his foot in his mouth only to have it snatched away. He did make the ubiquitous comment "We are watching"!